The election may be over, but being a public servant means more than just campaigning. In Nebraska, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse is quite literally going the extra mile to get to know his constituents while raising money for charity, by moonlighting as an Uber driver.
Sasse's spot was blown by Adrian Silva, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student who hailed an Uber ride after work to go home. Silvia was taken aback that by his driver's name and photo, whom he correctly identified as Sasse.
"At first, I was like, 'What?' Like the moment when you get trolled," Silva told BuzzFeed News, adding that he thought it was a joke until he saw "Benjamin's" five-star rating. "It became apparent when I saw the rating that it was probably real."
Many were as surprised as Silva. But Sasse himself confirmed as much on Twitter after Politico reporter Jake Sherman retweeted Silva's post, wondering aloud if it was real.
Even CNN's Jake Tapper seemed surprised.
Part of the reason Sasse turned to Uber was to highlight the "changing and dis-intermediated economy," an issue that the senator is personally interested in, according to a spokesman who talked to The Guardian. The senator noted that the money he earns from driving goes to charity.
Silva told BuzzFeed that when the car pulled up, Sasse was waiting in it alongside an aide; he then got out of the car to introduce himself. "He's a pretty cool guy," Silva, a Hillary Clinton supporter, added. "I couldn't see who else would take time out of their day and shake my hand."
Sasse made headlines this year for being one of the foremost Republican lawmakers who refused to endorse then-GOP nominee Donald Trump. "I asked if we could talk about the election, and he said, 'Sure, you can lay it on me,'" Silva told BuzzFeed News. "Since Ben Sasse was one of the few Republican senators who didn't endorse Donald, I asked him if he held that position still. He made it clear that they would obviously have to work together."
Sasse's Uber-driving has garnered lots of praise on social media. He also had some some sound insider information about the workings of the industry.
"If you throw up in an Uber, the surcharge can be substantial," Sasse tweeted. "Upside: It's a market incentive to get drivers to agree to Saturday [night] work."